(New York, N.Y.) — The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. Last week, CEP researchers located three Twitter accounts disseminating pro-ISIS content. Researchers also found a nearly 90-minute video released by the pro-ISIS al-Azaim Foundation urging violence against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The pro-ISIS tech group, Qimam Electronic Foundation, released a manual on PasteThis.To, advising users to avoid using the encrypted messaging platform Session.
In addition, CEP researchers located an account on Meta-owned Instagram belonging to the main French chapter of the active club movement, which had its previous account removed several months after CEP reported it to the company. The new account uploaded a short video and white supremacist symbols as well as content that had been on the previous account. On YouTube, CEP located a white supremacist vlog posted by a self-described accelerationist who praised a domestic terrorist group and its leader, encouraged users to remain prepared for violence, and spoke approvingly of rising antisemitism.
Lastly, on Telegram, multiple active club channels were located that posted videos of members of two active club chapters, a White Lives Matter state chapter, and an additional small neo-Nazi group assaulting an individual with an aerosol and marching with white supremacist flags and anti-LGBTQ signs in protest of an LGBTQ pride event in Montana.
Twitter Accounts Promote Pro-ISIS Propaganda
CEP researchers located three Twitter accounts on May 22 that posted pro-ISIS propaganda, including Amaq photos and links to English and Pashto pro-ISIS-K propaganda on other websites. CEP reported the content to Twitter, but it was still accessible within 72 hours, however all three accounts were removed by May 30. Among the posted content were links to the web magazine Voice of Khorasan 25 on the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive removed the web magazine after CEP reported it.
Pro-ISIS content on Twitter. Screenshot taken on May 25.
Pro-ISIS Video Condemns Taliban as Part of Foreign Occupation
On May 25, the pro-ISIS al-Azaim Foundation released an approximately 90-minute video declaring the Taliban an illegitimate government. The video repeated several claims previously made in al-Azaim publications, including Voice of Khorasan issue 25, including that the Taliban have not instituted religious law, have lied about punishments, are hypocrites, and are part of an ongoing political, military, economic, and cultural occupation of Afghanistan. The video stated that fighting against the Taliban is obligatory.
Pro-ISIS al-Azaim video released on May 25.
Pro-ISIS Tech Group Posts Instructions for Using Session Messenger
On May 22, the pro-ISIS Qimam Electronic Foundation (QEF) posted a guide on PasteThis.To regarding security concerns while using the encrypted messenger Session. The post warned that Session, as an Australian company, is subject to that country’s Assistance and Access Act 2018 and mandatory data retention. Consequently, the post warned that if an individual used the app, they should exercise additional caution to conceal their identity. The pro-ISIS tech group Electronic Horizons Foundation (EHF) posted a guide for using Session in April.
French Active Club Chapter Returns to Instagram After Removal
On May 23, the Instagram account belonging to the French chapter of the active club movement returned to the social media platform after a previous account was removed. Posting that they had returned, the account uploaded a short video and additional photos promoting the group. Uploads included the use of white supremacist symbols as well as content that had been on the previous account. The channel had over 350 followers within 48 hours of returning. CEP reported the previous French active club main page on January 19. It was still online in mid-April. CEP reported the new French active club Instagram account on May 25. It was still available by May 30.
White Supremacist Vlog Praising Domestic Terrorist Group Located on YouTube
CEP researchers located a white supremacist vlog on YouTube, posted on May 21, that endorsed white supremacism. In the one-hour-long video, the vlogger declared himself an accelerationist and praised the domestic terrorist group The Order and their leader Bob Mathews as the “father of the second American revolution.” While the vlogger stated that he did not encourage violence, he also said that he would “never disavow it” and stated the importance of “being prepared for violence.” The speaker additionally stated with approval that “antisemitism is becoming mainstream.”
The video had over 600 views in four days. CEP reported the video to YouTube on May 24 for violating their policies against hate speech, but it was still online by May 30. The channel that uploaded the video has over 2,400 subscribers and over 136,000 views on 219 videos. In a prior video, the vlogger declared that white people were being destroyed by “invaders from Central America” and praised the Aryan Nations and the Ku Klux Klan.
Active Club Chapters Post Propaganda Video of Bozeman, Montana March
On May 21, active club Telegram channels posted a video of members of two active club chapters, a White Lives Matter state chapter, and an additional small neo-Nazi group marching in Bozeman, Montana, on May 20 opposing a local LGBTQ pride event. The groups make up a regional network of different extreme right groups that coordinate with one another on regional actions. The video showed members of these groups marching with white supremacist flags and anti-LGBTQ signs and assaulting an individual by spraying him with pepper spray or a similar substance. The man later told reporters he was hit in the face with a shield and pepper sprayed by the white supremacist marchers. No arrests were reported.
In an additional video posted on the network’s Telegram channel on May 24, they stated they had protested outside of two drag events in Livingston and Bozeman. They also praised the state of Montana for banning drag queens or kings from reading to children in public schools and libraries. The Telegram channel of one of the active clubs that participated in the marches previously posted an image endorsing the 2015 Charleston church shooter.